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Ricky on Bordeaux

By Enrique Novella , 06 December 2016

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Bordeaux

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Arriving into Bordeaux train station at 9.30pm, I was met by a very friendly local Kirker transfer driver and had the short 15 minute transfer up to the Hotel Le St James, my home for the night, which is located in the pretty village of Bouliac. I was lucky enough to be given the ‘Harley Davidson Suite’ which, perhaps unsurprisingly, has a fine example of one these lovely motorbikes in the room… Fortunately, it didn’t distract me too much from the main view – the twinkling lights of the city below, viewed from the huge floor to ceiling windows.  A light supper of a plate of cheese and charcuterie accompanied by a small glass of merlot from the hotel’s own vineyard followed, before I retired for the evening. 

The following morning I was met by the charming manager, Anthony Torkington. Over many years of working together, Anthony has become a good friend. He described the history of the building and how the property has been transformed into the wonderful hotel that it is today. We managed to see into the kitchen of the Michelin-starred restaurant: it is always fascinating watching all the preparation that takes place between each service. They also have a cookery school where you will be able to recreate some of the chef’s dishes, and then eat the fruits of your labours…

We also had a walk around the village, and stopped at the Café de l’Esperance, a charming and more informal restaurant, which is also owned by the hotel.

After saying goodbye, I took a taxi down into town to see our three hotels in the centre of Bordeaux – The 5* Grand Hotel Intercontinental, the 4* Hotel de Seze and the 3* Hotel Continental. Each of these is in easy walking distance of the next and make for ideal alternatives if you are staying for a short break in the city.

With good flight connections, Bordeaux is becoming more and more popular and it is easy to see why – a compact centre with elegant Haussmann-style architecture, a beautiful opera house, impressive cathedral, fascinating museums, excellent shopping and – opened in June 2016 – the Cite du Vin: an ambitious wine ‘experience’ which provides a fitting landmark to celebrate Bordeaux’s reputation as the world’s centre of fine wine.

If you are staying longer than s couple of days, do remember to ask the Kirker Concierge about vineyard visits, wine-tastings and excursions to St Emillion, Medoc, Graves, Sauternes… or any of the other famous names which dot the surrounding countryside.

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